The consensus about who the Arizona Coyotes will take at No. 3 overall seems to fluctuate every week, but Arizona has another selection in the first round to consider.
Now that the Chicago Blackhawks are in the Western Conference Final, we know that Arizona's other draft choice -acquired from Chicago along with Klas Dahlbeck in the Antoine Vermette trade - will be no higher in the order than 27th overall.
So, using the NHL Central Scouting Service's final rankings for the 2015 draft eligible class, we will highlight a different player every day this week that might be available when Don Maloney goes up to the podium for the second time in Florida.
#25 - Brandon Carlo - Defenseman - Tri-City Americans (WHL)
2014-15 Stats: 63 GP, 4 G, 21 A, 90 PIMs
Coyotes fans looking for a large, physical presence on the blue line: this is your man. At 6' 5", Carlo would automatically become the tallest defenseman - and tallest prospect overall - in the Coyotes system. While only 185 pounds at the moment, the Colorado Springs native is just 18, and has plenty of time to develop an NHL frame.
Here's what Curtis Joe of Elite Prospects had to say about Carlo:
Through maneuvering his way around the ice and making high-percentage, skilled decisions in all three zones, he is able to shut opposition offense down before it begins to take shape. Carlo is a smooth skater who can control the puck very well and get into open areas for scoring chances; that being said, he does and will need help finding offense due to his natural defensive style of play.
Carlo's game is predominately defensive in nature, but his 0.4 points per game pace demonstrates that he is capable of chipping in on offense from time to time. His 156 PIMs over two seasons also suggests he has a bit of snarl in his game. Since the Coyotes had a significant amount of trouble keeping the front of the net clear for Mike Smith, perhaps the Coyotes need more of a rough-and-tumble mindset from their defensemen.
Is Carlo the right choice for the Coyotes here? If Arizona selects Noah Hanifin 3rd overall, it seems highly unlikely that they would go with Carlo. And there is also a legitimate question about drafting a guy in the first round known more for his defensive play and stay-at-home approach, especially if highly skilled forwards and wingers are still around.
Still, Carlo's size is not a teachable asset, and Arizona has the luxury of letting Carlo take a couple of years to develop and grow into his frame. If the Coyotes do want to bulk up on defense, Brandon Carlo is a pretty good option.